Zipper Woes

This was the culprit:

Zipper Culprit 3-2-19

Last week my zipper on my winter coat kept splitting and I realized that the zipper pull had been pulled apart so it wasn’t correctly aligning the zipper to close it. I asked Jay to grab the pliers so that we could fix it. Well… sometimes it sucks that he’s so smart. As soon as he used the pliers to push the pull back together he said, “Uh-oh.” The zipper pull was shot. There was no way it would work correctly.

This upset me because that was the zipper that I had replaced two years ago. I’d only managed to get two years out of that zipper!! I really didn’t want to replace it again. So Jay told me to just go buy a new coat. *sigh* Fine!

During my lunch period I decided I would take a quick look online to see what might be available at some of the local stores. What I saw had me irritated. The warmer coats with hoods had fur-trimmed hoods (which I didn’t want) and were $100. The other style that I found were the puffy coats that I DEFINITELY didn’t want. After all, my last name isn’t Michelin. You don’t believe me? This is an example of what I was seeing:

PUffy Coat

“Hello, Mrs. Michelin. Please step this way while you wait for your table.”

Oh, look… here’s an example of a puffy coat WITH fur trim:

Puffy Coat with Furry Hood

That poor girl is stick thin and it makes her look huge. Can you imagine what it would do to a fat girl?

Needless to say, I got irritated and went up to Joann Fabrics after work for a new zipper. There was no way I was going to pay $100 for a coat that I hated. Instead, I decided it would be better to fight with a coat that I loved for a few hours.

And boy, did we fight!

Zipper Out 3-2-19

TWO HOURS. That’s how long it took me to rip out the old zipper. One hour for each side. You see, when I had sewn it in I used little tiny stitches thinking that it would hold together better and I wasn’t planning on ever replacing it. The coat is 10 years old and so I should have been able to get at least 5 years out of the other zipper.

After getting the old zipper out I installed one side of the new one. This time I decided that I would use my Singer 301A to sew it in.

Singer 301A Zipper Sewing 3-2-19

This is a straight stitch machine with a tiny throat plate so the fabric wouldn’t get caught in it. Also, the stitch is a very regular and consistent stitch. As soon as I remembered how to wind a bobbin I was in business.

Singer 301A Foot 3-2-19

I kept catching my hands on the pins. And I had to re-sew one part of it after I realized that I had caught the button flap in it, so I unpicked it and sewed it back up. *sigh*

Half Zipper Sewn In 3-2-19

Finally, though, I had one side sewn in! I wasn’t happy about having to use a dual separating zipper. I prefer the single zipper pull zippers, but this zipper was rated for use in ski jackets and ski pants, so I figured that it had to be somewhat rugged. After all, I’m really hoping that this zipper outlasts the rest of the coat.

CLose Up Zipper 3-2-19

I think that I did an okay job of sewing it in.

New Zipper Installed 3-2-19

After a lot of monkeying around and re-pinning I finally got the other half sewn in. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough. As you can see, this coat is in really good shape. There are dirty spots on the white parts, but that’s about it. I bought this coat in 2008 at the Bon-Ton for $80. It keeps me warm and fits nicely. I really didn’t want to throw it away since it was still in such good shape. I guess it was worth the 4.5 hours to replace the zipper. After all, the closest coat that I could find to something I would somewhat like was $139. Yikes! So for $14 (the cost of the two zippers I bought… in case the one wasn’t the right length) and 4.5 hours I have a coat that I still love and a blog post.

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